Monday, May 5, 2008

The Power of Listening

I’m all ears! This is a phrase that has been often used in the past to convince someone that I am really focused on listening to what they want to say. It is often said that there is a good reason God gave us two ears and only one mouth. He wants us to listen twice as much as we speak.

Let’s face it. We are often so busy with activities and face so many demands in our lives that we react rather than respond. We say many words and avoid situations where there is silence. Even in a context of worship with others, our minds drift quickly from one thing to another.

God warns the leaders and people of Malachi’s day to listen: “Listen to me and take it to heart. Honor my name says the Lord God Almighty…” (Malachi 2:2a, NLT) But, it takes time to enlarge our listening capacity. The more we listen, the more blessed and encouraged we will be – drawing awesome spiritual resources from God’s deep well of salvation and joy that we can use to truly encourage those in need.

In I Samuel chapter 3, the young boy Samuel had to learn to listen to the voice of God. It was absolutely essential for living a life of purpose and mission. Samuel became one of God’s greatest leaders as a prophet because he learned to expand his ability to listen to God. On the fourth time that the Lord called, Samuel replied: “Yes, your servant is listening.” (I Samuel 3:10a,NLT) Are you listening?

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